More than any room in the house, the kitchen needs to be practical and functional. So getting your kitchen layout right is the most important factor when designing your dream kitchen. Whether your space is small or large, a clever layout will make all the difference in helping you to get the most out of the space.
Important elements of a Functional Kitchen Layout
The kitchen triangle is referred to a lot, but really the key is making one or two steps to move from one area to another, with a maximum of 7 metres between all key areas collectively.
You also need a bench space near the sink and on either side of the stove top, as well as by the oven.
The idea is that you step once or turn around to access critical bench space from key appliances – oven, stove, fridge, sink.
Space between the Island and benchtops
To avoid traffic jams and poor work flow it is very important to plan for adequate space between your island bench and rear bench. Plan for at least a minimum of 1000mm (preferably 1200mm) to allow enough room for people to move around the island without having to turn sideways.
You don’t want the space between the island and rear bench to be too big either, otherwise you’re more than 1 step away from both benches, which is not ideal when holding hot pans or heavy items.
Common layout mistakes
Fridge in the middle of the kitchen rather than at the end
A fridge is used frequently. Placing it at the end of the kitchen is preferable because it allows easy access for family members and guests. It also means you have visual bulk at one end.
Stove too close to the sink
It’s especially important to make sure that there’s enough room between the sink and the stove to meet regulatory requirements. Also, you need good bench space between these appliances as they are different work areas. You don’t want to be on top of dirty dishes when you’re trying to cook!
Sink positioned facing a rear wall
It’s always nice to have sink with an outlook (ie, window), rather than a stove top facing out. This can be unavoidable in smaller kitchens, but if you have a choice, aim for the sink by a window and the stove near a wall. Aesthetically – if the sink is centred on the rear wall, the sink would be the focus (dirty dishes), rather than to the side, where it’s less visually imposing.
Types of Kitchen Design Layout
A galley kitchen is a long, narrow kitchen that has base cabinets, wall cabinets, counters, or other services located on one or both sides of a central walkway. Galley Kitchens can work well in small spaces.
Designed by White Pebble Interiors
An L-shaped kitchen is one of the most popular design layouts, for good reason. It provides a lot of design flexibility and works well with limiting corner cabinetry, along with providing efficient workflow as you can move around the kitchen easily. Butler’s pantries easily flow from these designs too.
Designed by Nika Vorotynseva
A U-shaped kitchen is one where there is an open U shape or an attached breakfast bar U shaped kitchens have one entry and exit point, so they can feel busy and affect work and traffic flow in the space. They also have more corner cabinetry to deal with, that can affect functionality.